UFC ABC2 Vettori vs. Holland: Talk is teep - 4/9/2021

Saturday’s UFC slate kicks on in time for breakfast so understanding that we’ll be watching takedowns while we enjoy our toast let’s have a look at the final releases for this UFC ABC2 card.

All releases posted today have been discussed through the week on VSiN as well the ‘Behind the Bets’ ESPN podcast I did earlier this week with Doug Kezirian.

As is customary, I’ll post my ‘Point Spread Weekly’ article below with its release followed by updated comments and final positions.

Let’s Fight

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--originally published 4-7-21 Point Spread Weekly—

Last month’s Francis N’Gannou KO against Stipe Miocic in UFC 260 solidified ‘Insight the Octagon’ profitability for the first quarter of 2021 to 8-5 +3.95 units.

Successfully grinding profit in any sporting endeavor requires a dedication to due diligence, selective placement of wagers and as important as both, precision record keeping.

Over the course of a UFC calendar year, if any adhere to those simple fulcrums of success listed above then rest assured that the profit will take care of itself.

The second quarter of 2021 begins with ABC’s second UFC production. Unfortunately for the event one of its headliners, Englishman Darren Till broke a collarbone in sparring and is out of the fight.

Important note: The prelims for this fight card start at 9am PT. KO’s and croissants!

Marvin Vettori -300 vs. Kevin Holland +240 Middleweight (185lbs.) main event

Eighth ranked middleweight Italian Marvin Vettori now welcomes the familiar Kevin Holland to the Octagon in a fight that could more resemble feeding time in the Serengeti than a competitive bout.

Readers will recall that it was tenth ranked Holland, the constantly clamoring clown who was dominated by Derek Brunson as a -180 favorite inside three weeks ago as the main event of UFC Vegas 22. The impression left by Holland is such that I don’t believe he had much choice in taking this bout.

Holland was the only real ‘RANKED’ choice the organization had to save this main event. I can tell you I would have paid many units to be privy to the conversation between the UFC and Holland after his huge stink bomb last month for I believe it was a one-sided soliloquy where Holland listened and the UFC spoke.

Marvin Vettori is a kickboxing-based fighter who is decorated with a blue belt in BJJ. He’s mad-aggressive, forward pressing and unrelenting in the pursuit of engagement. Vettori, who can be quite emotional, must be measured in this bout for his only real chance of getting beaten here is if he takes Holland too lightly and walks into a Sunday shot or Sidewinding shin.

He must press Holland and eliminate distance/space which will enable him to use the plan so successfully used by Brunson to dominate this kid who has an unrefined way of trying to win mixed martial arts bouts.

Vettori fought current Champion Israel Adesanya to a split decision in April 2018. In that fight he was very competitive despite being inexperienced. His competitiveness in that bout and the confidence gained by going the distance with Adesanya fuels his intensity to earn another crack at the champion. Vettori is an ascending fighter who most in the division wish to avoid including current champion Adesanya. He’s been pining for Till to win this bout for he’s aware as is Vettori that it’s Vettori that may represent the greatest challenge to Adesanya.

Holland remains tenth ranked only because he’s not been lowered by the organization after his embarrassment to Brunson. He’s in a unique position here. Usually, he’s be lauded for stepping in on a ten-day notice to help the organization save a main event but, in this case, I wonder if they posed it to him as if it were, “take this bout and fight or take a long walk off of a short pier”?

Another main event display like he had against Brunson could not be good for his long-term opportunity in the UFC the way I view it and he’s mentioned in recent interviews that he’s there to engage as well listen to his corner between rounds. How novel.

There must be motivation on his part to redeem himself by putting forth a solid effort. The issue is that he’s been put in there with one hungry and dangerous fighter in Vettori who will look to devour weakness should Holland display any.

Holland must keep this bout standing and pick and peck the incoming Vettori with jabs, crosses, uppercuts, kicks and elbows all of which are reliant on fluid movement and space management. If Holland can frustrate the raging bull, he may be able to get the hotheaded Italian to rush into something.

The surprise KO is Holland’s sole opportunity in my judgement for I handicap Vettori to be a more complete mixed martial artist, he’s faced superior talent than Holland, he owns a substantial advantage on the ground and he’ll be the larger heavier man in the cage Saturday.

Vettori has little to gain and everything to lose in this spot yet I feel he wins impressively which may spell an immediate fall from grace for a guy in Holland who may not have the mentality to thrive in the UFC.

Sodiq Yusuff -130 vs. Arnold Allen +110 Featherweight (145lbs.) co main event

This fight does not have the name power to be regarded as main event material but it will feature the keenest of competitors matched up in what should be an absolute stand-up dandy.

Tenth ranked Allen is undefeated in seven UFC bouts. Early in that run he beat some decent talent but his last three opponents are not high-level talent in the division. His last bout was January of last year so I’m a little leery about that inactivity but shy of that reservation it’s unusual that a talent like this has not attained higher profile fights.

The Brit is well versed in BJJ but uses quickness and precision striking as his best weapons. He’ll need to utilize leg work/fluid movement to out strike and evade strikes from his more powerful opponent. Allen’s tactic will be to decision Yusuf via counterstriking.

Yusuff happens to be eleventh ranked so there’s real importance in this result for each man. When I examine Yusuff’s recent fights, I see high quality wins against a diversity of fighting styles. The fact that he’s been a bit more active than Allen and he’s the more powerful aggressive striker forces me to regard his as just a slight favorite.

Yusuff will be the forward pressing initiator in this bout. The matador and the bull!

Yusuff opened -130

Total for this fight: 2.5Rds. Over -200

Nina Ansaroff -140 vs. Mackenzie Dern +120 woman’s strawweight (115lbs.)

I’ve been a proponent of fading Dern for many reasons. Lately it’s not succeeded because she’s been more diligent in her weight cutting, she’s rapidly developing her stand up striking and strike defense and her competitive advantage in BJJ over any opponent she may face is still supreme.

Nina Ansaroff is a fighter returning to the Octagon after giving birth to a baby girl in September of 2020. I’m no doctor or expert on medical matters like this but to say that I am dubious over her conditioning etc. six plus months after an event like this is an understatement.

My only experience with this situation in the UFC happened to be with Ansaroff’s opponent Saturday night Mackenzie Dern.

It was Dern who rushed back after just four months to fight Amanda Ribas in 2019. Dern herself has mentioned that the adjustment to fighting inside the cage took longer than she’d realized and that her muscle mass didn’t return for some time after the birthdate.

Dern’s not lost since that defeat and is brimming with confidence. It’s my judgment that she’s catching Ansaroff at an opportune time.

 Dern opened -110 and is now an underdog. I can’t disagree with that more.

Dern +120 or better

Total for this fight: 2.5Rds. Over -180

Stay with VSiN through the week as I’ll have more underdogs as we approach fight day!

Enjoy the fights and Thank You for reading

--updated 4-9-21 3:18pm PT—

Vettori -350 vs. Holland +290 Main event

I see a one-sided beatdown here. That said, in decision form.

Over 4.5 +150

Ansaroff -140 vs. Dern +120

Dern’s striking is on par with Nina’s and her BJJ far exceeds anything Ansaroff can deal with. Ansaroff’s wrestling is formidable and Dern must not allow herself to be anything but in top position when this bout hits the mat. Dern is the rightful favorite in this fight.

Dern +120

Shore -170 vs. Azure +150

Shore’s striking is more refined and precision based that is the striking game of Azure however Azure packs the power in his striking and he compliments his stand-up with a much broader wrestling base than the more singularly dimensioned Shore. Provided Azure can take this bout to the mat he’ll win but he must get Shore to the floor.

Azure +155 and rising

Jung -135 vs. Knight +115

We’re siding with the more versed fighter in Knight who has power, explosion and ferocious top control wrestling. Jung will want to stand flat footed and exchange which will set him up to be tackled by the tank. Once Knight gets Jung down the ground and pound display will be devastating. Don’t judge these fighters by physique!

Knight +115

Gamrot -220 vs. Holzman +190

Gamrot’s thirty and employs unrelenting wrestling pressure in each of his bouts. Holzman knows how to address wrestlers though he’d much prefer to keep this standing and try to touch the incoming polish fighter with his punching power. This will be a close first round then pretty much a one-sided affair with Gamrot having his way with a thirty-seven-year-old ex hockey player who is fading fast from the viable UFC scene.

Gamrot -220

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC 260 N'Gannou vs. Miocic: Stretched out - 3/27/2021

UFC 260 Miocic vs. N’Gannou sets up to be a great event. My deepest regrets however is that Miocic took this bout. If he walked prior to tonight he goes down in history as a GOAT. After tonight it’s my opinion that he just walks off one great heavyweight. The difference there is historic while at the same time monumental.

It makes what Khabib Nurmagomedov did so much more impactful for Nurmagomedov leaves with pride, wealth and historical significance. I wish fighters paid more attention to their own history as they always fight too long with the exception of Rocky Marciano and Khabib Nurmagomedov with special mention to Georges St-Pierre.

Below is this week ‘Point Spread Weekly’ column followed by my final releases. Enjoy this great event.

--Let’s Fight--

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--published 3-24-21 Point Spread Weekly—

UFC 260 Miocic vs. N’Gannou II from the APEX center in Las Vegas, NV. marks what the UFC and many hope will be the last UFC event featuring no fans in attendance.

This card lost its co-main event when Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski tested positive for Covid so his title defense against Brian Ortega gets rescheduled. Even without that ‘cracker’ of a fight, this slate is rife with betting opportunity.

Last week’s release of Gregor Gillespie had to be cancelled on the day of the event again, Covid. What’s unfortunate is that when this fight gets rescheduled the ‘Makers are most likely going to re-release Gillespie -260 which is where the fight was lined when it was pulled. This negates the market advantage we had at -220. Just another day in the office.

Gillespie’s parlay position was filled by Grant Dawson -190 who won his bout by amazing KO with two seconds remaining.

Here’s a look at a few of the more compelling UFC 260 match-ups.

Stipe Miocic +105 vs. Francis N’Gannou -125 Heavyweight (265lbs.) Championship

This is a rematch of a 2018 bout that was written up right here on Insight the Octagon. Miocic at the time +170 was the champion defending his belt against a monster who looked the part but who could not ‘fight’ the part. We released Miocic and were rewarded as he won via unanimous decision.

Then, Francis was only able to plod forward to clobber, club and drub opponents. In that bout Miocic was able to take the steam out of the giant early then slowly and systematically dominate him with five rounds of wrestling pressure, superior conditioning and constant movement.

So, what’s changed going into this fight?

Miocic is a Champion who in my view gets completely overlooked and underappreciated…. just like the firefighter he is. Quiet humility can best describe Miocic who is understated and looks a bit nerdy when he wears his eyeglasses but is a most complete and worthy champion. Miocic’s improvement since these two-last tussled I measure as intangible because he enters this fight brimming with confidence and surging with momentum.

Miocic bested Daniel Cormier 2-1 in their trilogy. DC was widely recognized as an all-time great two division champion until he ran into Miocic in their second two bouts.

Miocic enters this fight with an abundance of tools. His wrestling, striking, cardio and confidence together comprise the complete fighter. Further, the many overlooking him as champion seem to motivate him to excel.

Miocic’s improvement since their first bout are emotional based and not physical for the fact remains that at thirty-eight those Cormier bouts while providing him with great fight experience and confidence, they also had to take a toll on Miocic physically.

With N’Gannou it’s a certainty that he’s improved. He’s competed in five fights since the Miocic loss realizing a 4-1 tally. In two of those fights elite wrestling talents faced N’Gannou only to be drawn into a striking barrage resulting with Francis flushing each on the face and turning out their lights in the first round.

N’Gannou’s taken his training to a new and elite level by working for some time now with Las Vegas’  Xtreme Couture and coach Eric Nicksick. N’Gannou’s past issues with cardio as well training to deal with the unrelenting pressure of elite wrestling-based fighters have surely been addressed.

Let’s not forget about how many millions there are for N’Gannou should he win let alone the praise and accolades Mr. Nicksick and Xtreme Couture would receive in that wake. I assure all readers that there has been no expense saved in preparing N’Gannou for this fight and know too that addressing/countering Miocic’s unrelenting wrestling pressure has also been drilled into N’Gannou for the past couple years.

Whether these improvements make a difference in the bout remains to be seen because understanding wrestling and its concepts especially take down sprawl is far different than executing them. That said N’Gannou had no answer for the take down in the first bout and in this bout, he not only knows those attempts are coming but he’s had years to address the strategy required to thwart them.

N’Gannou, thirty-four is a special athlete and I believe his improvements will be on display Saturday.

Miocic will use movement early to keep N’Gannou hustling in attempts to both set up his take downs and wear down the fierce striker. He must find a way to tire the power striking behemoth early which will allow him to eventually gain inside position and engage N’Gannou up close so he may drag/trip/force him down to the canvas. Miocic has a confidence that I can only describe as a guy that knows he can take his opponent down.

We know Miocic’s plan involves taking N’Gannou to the floor and fighting him from top position. He’ll eventually have to shoot for the takedown to accomplish that but he’ll need to execute take downs on a tiring/tired N’Gannou and surely not a fresh one. Therein lies some risk.

N’Gannou must remain patient in that small cage and cut the octagon down on Miocic in order to find a way to touch him on the teeth. Judicious, effective forward movement coupled with pressure striking are the best weapons N’Gannou can employ to back Miocic up and keep him from shooting in for the takedown.

N’Gannou remaining composed, cool and patient will ensure that he lands at least the same amount of flush power shots to Miocic in this fight as in their first if not more. In thar first bout Miocic who is known to be a touch chinny did weather some pure power shots. Will he be able to do so again? What if those power strikes increase and arrive in a steady measured approach for a full twenty-five minutes? 

This fight comes down to whether Stipe can use his intellect, cardio, movement, and striking to set up his wrestling against N’Gannou. It’s the same basic plan. N’Gannou on his part must realize that this victory will come down to whether he can keep this bout standing, back Miocic up and find a way for one of his bludgeoning strikes to mangle Miocic.

N’Gannou opened -155 for this bout and money has trickled in on the Champion. 

N’Gannou at current pricing or better offers tremendous opportunity and is an official release.

N’Gannou -125

Total for this fight: 1.5 Over -125

Vicente Luque -240 vs. Tyronn Woodley +205 Welterweight (170lbs.) co main event

Luque ranked tenth in the Welterweight rankings faces Woodley who is ranked seventh and Luque is -240 favorite. That right there tells us that rankings are for everyone other than fight handicappers.

Since October of 2017 Luque has fought and dominated each of the nine top welterweights, he’s faced except for Stevie Thompson who is in my estimation the top threat to Kamaru Usman’s welterweight Championship.

Luque is a fierce fighter who is physical and has finished seven of the eight fighters he recently beat. Luque is known as an effective power striker but he also has a brown belt in BJJ and a black belt in luta livre esportiva so he can shake, rattle and roll. Luque is versed wherever the fight goes and although he is a little reckless at times, he faces a fighter who may not be able to make him pay for those mistakes.

Tyronn Woodley enters the Octagon a fighter that I handicap as washed. While he’s faced an outstanding level of previous competition the results, effectiveness and overall display of output provided by Woodley has been such that with this beating he may end up retiring. Tyronn Woodley today is a shell of the fighter he was. His one trick power right hand has lost some power as well is his only weapon making it easy for opponents to defend. Woodley is in my view unable to compete at this level of MMA any longer.

Luque -240

consider in any parlay side.

Sean O’Malley -310 vs. Tomas Almeida +260 Bantamweight (135lbs.)

O’Malley has sizzle, zip, flash and tremendous popularity. Early in his career he showed glimpses of striking greatness but immediate success and a higher ranked level of opponent seem to have quelled his momentum as he was stopped in his last outing by Marlon Vera who attacked O’Malley’s legs, hurt them and won the fight.

O’Malley’s a gifted striker. He trains at the MMALab where he gets the benefit of training with a loaded stable of highly ranked Bantamweight fighters in Casey Kenney, Mario Bautista, Kyler Phillips and others. While those willing to dismiss O’Malley will point to Vera and a relatively high level of immaturity, I’d advise a more measured approach for in this bout O’Malley is setup to shine.

In Thomas Aleida O’Malley gets a fighter who is physically made for him.

The shorter Almeida is not in there to grapple or roll he takes bouts to assault opponents with his brutal striking game. Almeida is a black belt in Muay Thai who is also decorated with a brown belt in BJJ so he can compete at a high level anywhere the fight goes.

The issue for Almeida is that he’s not evolved since he came into the organization and he’s degree’s slower than O’Malley in this particular match-up.

Almeida’s the shorter man giving up leg/arm reach but he is a naturally powerful southpaw who has been in the octagon against opponents that far outclass Marlon Vera who is the fighter that just finished O’Malley.

 On the surface this fight seems potentially competitive but looking beneath the surface I  see O’Malley dominating Almeida. 

--updated 3-27-21 9:02am PT—

Final releases:

N’Gannou -125

Luque via decision +160

Mullarkey +110

Robertson +135

Morales -180

(Morales 1u wager for .56 unit return)

GambLou.com 

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC Vegas22 Brunson vs. Holland: How to shroud...Loud - 3/20/2021

--updated 3-20-21 10:44am PT--

This week’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ column features a tribute to Marvin Hagler. The Hagler situation provided me the last impetus of motivation I needed to leave the sport boxing as a viable betting sport forever. Anyway, it’s updated version is below and will appear in today’s ‘NY Post’ sports section.

I’m taking a measured approach to today’s UFC fight card only because I see limited advantages and we’re about advantage here not action. Action junkies can gather around the NCAA tourney and get all the play they need. Three releases today. Two are found in the post article and the last is updated after.

Regarding Profitable Sports Gaming, here is what I’ve come up with for today’s slate.

--Let’s Fight--

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--Published 3-20-21 New York Post—

Insight the Octagon chooses to pay respect to one of the absolute the greatest Middleweight fighters in Boxing history, Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

Hagler ruled the Middleweight division from 1973 to 1987. A controversial 1987 split decision loss to Sugar Ray Leonard soured the Champion for not only did he win that fight (my judging) but he fought a poorly executed fight after being affected by the psychological warfare Leonard had bestowed on the champion.

The reason Hagler never received a second fight was because Leonard was well aware that he had little chance win any rematch because he’d used all he had physically, psychologically and mentally to slip by Hagler the first.

Hagler’s reaction to Leonard’s hemming and hawing was to walk off and retire.

I made the same decision at the same time as Hagler did for after decades of passionate boxing fandom, the sport’s greed, graft, avarice and self-interest finally got the best of me and I vowed never to return to boxing.

I owe Hagler much. He gave me the final impetus to walk from a sport that became (and remains) a charade. After several years of being away from combat sports my deep thirst for fighting returned when in the early 2000’s Mixed Martial Arts, a sport rife with integrity and clear unadulterated results arose to fulfill my love for fight handicapping.

RIP Marvin Hagler.

Last week Dan Ige displayed that in fact he was the more refined, polished and powerful fighter as he stopped for Gavin Tucker early in the fight. We’ll take the well-earned unit and move ahead to this week’s UFC Vegas 22.

Insight the Octagon 2021: 7-5 +2.95 units

Kevin Holland -190 vs. Derek Brunson +160 Middleweight (185lbs.) main event

This is a great matchup between thirty-seven-year-old Brunson the seventh ranked middleweight and Kevin Holland the organizations tenth ranked middleweight.

Holland arrives with an impressive body of work and brimming with confidence. After making a mistake and getting submitted against Brendan Allen in 2019 Holland has gone on to win five straight bouts. Decorated with a black belt in BJJ and a second-degree black belt in Kung Fu Holland is a devastating striker who has finished four of those last five opponents via KO/TKO which is not to overlook his grappling ability for it is sound.

Holland is a couple inches taller than Brunson, he’s nine years younger and he ‘ll own a four-inch reach advantage in this fight. Surely it is Hollands’s plan to keep this confrontation standing and use his arm/leg strikes to batter Brunson.

Brunson arrives the undervalued combatant whose recent history displays a most dominating performance over a highly regarded Edmund Shabazyan. Brunson, thirty-seven has faced a far superior level of competition than has Holland but he’ll need to deal with Holland’s speed, skill and willingness to take risks. Brunson’s himself decorated with a brown belt in BJJ that supplements his DII NCAA wrestling pedigree.

After setbacks to Jacare’ Souza and current Champion Israel Adesanya in 2019 Brunson’s gone on to win three straight bouts against fighters named Heinisch, Theodorou and the already mentioned Shabazyan. The Shabazyan win was an epic display a young game fighter with momentum waltzing into an absolute ‘whuppin’. Will Brunson yet again award another young hyped athlete his PhD. in MMA?

In this fight I see Holland using speed, quickness, and legwork to keep Brunson on the outside and away from him. Fluid movement is mandatory in allowing Holland to blister the incoming Brunson with precision striking and holland has the ability to finish in one shot or from a barrage.

Brunson must persevere and pressure through the opening rounds when Holland’s flash and fluidity are keenest. He must work to eliminate the dancer’s space and maul Holland into the fence then onto the floor in an attempt to make this fight ugly, dirty and most importantly lengthy.

Hollands movement, striking and strength are muted on the mat while Brunson’s ground and pound may dominate while simultaneously usurping the energy from the grounded athlete. This tactic does come at some risk for a thirty-seven-year-old Brunson but I do see it as logical for he has no business standing with Mr. Holland.

Brunson’s change of fight camps to Sanford MMA some three fights back has reinvigorated the fighter with a renewed focus and for this reason I believe he is a solid choice in an underdog position.

Brunson +160

Total for this fight: 1.5 Over -190

Gillespie -220 vs. Riddle +190 Lightweight (155lbs.) co main event

this fight cancelled 

City Kickboxing fighter/coach Brad Riddle earns co main event stature based on his 3-0 record in the UFC, his aggressive style and his gym affiliation. He’s a Muay Thai specialist with a purple belt in BJJ. Riddle’s a most complete precision power striker with both arms/legs who is able to combine movement, precision striking and profuse power together to disorient opponents.

Riddle’s strength is on the feet however his greatest area of improvement is with wrestling/grappling and he stands opposite one of the most accomplished wrestling-based fighters in the organization.

Gillespie is coming off a devastating KO via head kick loss to Kevin Lee in November of 2019. He’s taken the appropriate time off to not only recover and prepare for this opportunity but I believe he’s used the devastating KO loss as motivation for him to quit trying to put on a show and get back to his basics which happen to be boring old wrestling.

Gillespie’s best when he pressures, crowds, mauls, and clasps his way into engagement with opponents to scrape them against the cage then transition to drubbing them from top position on the mat.

Gillespie arrives prepared to wrestle and he should be a worthy favorite against an athlete that will have limited time and only one way to win this fight, KO/TKO.

Gillespie opened -150 and his price has risen based on his pedigree in a classic striker vs. grappler matchup.

 

Total for this fight: 2.5 Over -115

Dawson -190 vs. Santos +165 Lightweight (155lbs.)

This bout fascinates me more than any other this year.

Santos rarely fights but is 7-0-1 in the UFC. He is what any old school BJJ practitioner will call the master of BJJ fighters in the UFC. His ground game is untouchable and his striking is refined and power based. He’s also forty-one years of age.

Dawson is a stalwart wrestling-based fighter and I’ve said here many times that world class wrestling is kryptonite to world class BJJ practitioners in most occasions. On this occasion Santo’s devastating striking will provide him great advantage considering he’s also two inches taller and will sport substantial arm/leg reach advantage.

Can Dawson smother the Brazilian and control him from top position or will Santos carve the kid up on his way in and earn top position himself? Santos is in no way intimidated by Dawson’s ground acumen.

Parlay: Gillespie -260/Grant Dawson -190 

Dawson now becomes first leg in open Parlay. second part to be filled in an upcoming card

--Updated 3-20-21 10:44am PT—

Chiasson -200 vs. Reneau +180 Woman’s Bantamweight (135lbs.)

This is going to be a closely contested bout. Reneau is experienced and tough as a three-dollar steak but she is forty-three and in with a fighter in Chiasson who has a five-inch height advantage, a four-inch reach advantage and is fourteen years the younger combatant. This is a bout I feel ends via decision.

Chiasson via Decision +125

JP Buys -130 vs. Bruno Silva +110 Flyweight (125lbs.)

This is actually a release made earlier this wek that I had forgotten about. JP Buys is the choice here based on what I believe to be a more fundamental wrestling background. He's in his debut fighting with his spose on the card so he surely must be motivated to suceed. He faces a most despetate fighter in Silva who has lost his first couple UFC bouts and may be overmatched here.

Buys -130

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC Vegas21 Edwards vs. Muhammad: Ring that Belal - 3/13/2021

Welcome fight enthusiasts to UFC Vegas 21 where the distraction of basketball allows me the time to comprehensively research UFC fights as opposed to speaking about them all week long. Don’t get me wrong, fighting is what I am and sharing fight insights with those who also have a passion for this sport is why I do this. This week has been refreshing to be honest as . It’s allowed me to focus soley on fights.

Below is my ‘Point Spread weekly’ column which at the time released Ige -130. It’s my opinion that there are benefits to subscribing and I’ll leave it at that.

--Let’s Fight--

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--Posted 3-10-21 Point Spread Weekly--

Last week’s UFC 259 was an outstanding fifteen fight slate that was marred by the disqualification of Petr Yan against Aljamain Sterling in the Bantamweight Championship fight. I had released Sterling as a best bet for the evening and while the final result was a +120 deposit, the final grade on my actual handicapping for that bout grades a D-.

Wagering on sporting events requires investors live and die with the final results as graded by the particular sport involved first, then by the rules of the sportsbook second. In this case what is important to understand is that my results show a profit but in all honesty my handicapping was unsatisfactory.  Yan was not only going to beat Sterling he was probably going to finish him.

I’ve rarely discussed bad beats we’ve dealt with here at ‘Insight the Octagon’ because this is a bottom-line business. I monitor results, record the final result then move forward because the nature of gambling is such that unusual beats/wins are bound to occur.

When one loses by some terrible circumstance it’s important to understand that the wager may have lost BUT if the handicapping process was correct then the bettor should remain confident in their ‘process’ because in the long run ‘process’ is sustainable while luck is not.

For a situation like Yan vs. Sterling the lesson learned is that while I enhance my bottom line with a +120 deposit the overall handicap of the event was simply awful. Yan and all other fighter’s lesson learned is this: Know the rules!

I turn the page realizing that good fortune was on my side last week. The single point of focus now is to refine my process because it will take sound, effective handicapping to deliver a profitable result to 2021.

Insight the Octagon 2021: 6-5 +1.95 units

Leon Edwards -240 vs. Belal Muhammad +200 Welterweight (170lbs) main event

Muhammad was scheduled to compete against Sean Brady last week on the UFC 259 card but was kicked up into main event status to fight Edwards (coming off a win just a month earlier) on this slate because fourteenth ranked welterweight Khazmat Chimaev is unable to overcome Covid symptoms.

Muhammad is more than enough replacement for Chimaev as Edwards now faces an opponent with well more experience, seasoning and guile and one who is tough, and unrelenting. Muhammad enters off three wins all of which have transpired since Edwards last bout! 

Muhammad, thirteenth ranked employs solid wrestling/grappling coupled with an unrelenting forward pressure together compliment his effective striking. Since a KO loss to Vicente Luque in 2016 Muhammad has compiled an 8-1 record with the only loss being to eleventh ranked welterweight fighter Goeff Neal.

Muhammad can compete anywhere the fight goes and he is catching his opponent at the correct time.

Jamaican Leon Edwards is a fighter few are aware of. He’s been inactive since July of 2019 and in a division steeped with dynamic mixed martial artists, if one is out of sight then one is out of mind.

In Edwards case the reason for inactivity is somewhat understandable because he’s had trouble getting fights simply because no one wants to fight this most well rounded, refined, dangerous mixed martial artist. Covid complications and lockdowns have also compounded the difficulty in getting Edwards who resides in England an opponent.

Third ranked in the division it’s my judgement that only welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Steven Thompson share with Edwards the distinction of top three in the division. Since a decision loss to current champion Kamaru Usman in 2015 Edwards is 8-0 having beaten the likes of Luque, Barbarena, Cerrone, Nelson and Dos Anjos.

In this bout Edwards will have to address his inactivity against a fighter in Muhammad who is warm and ready to fire. We saw when Poirier drubbed the Irishman what importance being active holds.

Edwards, a southpaw will be the taller fighter by 3”, the younger athlete by three years and will also sport three-inch arm/leg reach advantages. Edwards, his experience, his body of competition and his overall offensive/defensive arsenal make him a more complete pedigreed fighter than is Muhammad on paper but that does not consider Edwards’s time away.

Muhammad’s recent activity in this particular circumstance may also carry a negative effect for in his last outing against Dhiego Lima on February 15th he took an abundance of deep tissue damage to his lead leg/calf from Lima’s violent kicks. Even though Muhammad won the bout his lead leg was severely damaged. Four weeks is not a long time to recover from those form of leg contusions so Muhammad does enter with some concern for that limb.

Of course, Edwards employs a devastating leg attack, he’ll surely be aware of his opponent’s history, tendencies and injury.

Edwards is a fighter who believes he is most deserving in the division for a title shot and his disgust, angst and frustration at having to wait all this time to prove it is tangible. Edwards will show up Saturday night focused and intent on delivering a message.

Leon Edwards is supremely motivated to display his wares Saturday. His size, youth, length and reach all physical advantages will compliment his refined precision striking and deft movement and display that though Muhammad is a legitimate top twelve fighter, Edwards just may be beyond that in ability.

Total for this fight: 4.5 Over -185

Dan Ige -130 vs. Galvin Tucker +110 Featherweight (145lbs.)

This may be the most competitive well-matched bout on the fight card.

The Canadian Tucker is unranked but on the cusp of entering the top fifteen with a win Saturday night. Tucker, 4-1 in the UFC is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and enters this bout 13-1 having won his last three fights in fairly impressive fashion. It must be stated that Tucker does step into this fight on short notice. In the UFC opportunity sometimes comes with risk (see also Belal Muhammad).

Tucker’s comfortable rolling on the mat and will want to direct the action on Ige, crowd him and force the clinch in order to drag this fight to the floor. Tucker allows a porous 4.3 significant strikes against per round so he’ll need to overcome that lack of strike defense by pressing the fight against his opponent and negating Ige’s distance. Tucker averages three takedowns per round so his plan always involves a plentiful dose of grappling.

In ninth ranked featherweight Dan Ige, Tucker steps up in competition substantially. Ige’s a former NCAA DIII wrestler decorated with a black belt in BJJ as well a brown belt in Judo. Ige’s striking is highly effective and his significant strike defense (3.6) is considerably lower than his opponent. Ige’s take down defense is a forte’ and it’s complimented by his fluid movement and effective counter striking.

Ige will hold a solid advantage standing, it’s also my contention that his wrestling/judo are evolved enough to match any grappling advances that Tucker may introduce during the fight. Ige is the more complete fighter and he’s faced a far superior class of opponent. He is worthy of favorite status.

Ige opened -155 for this fight. Tucker’s recent success may be the reason this line is compressing.

Ige -130 (or lower) is a firm release but I’ll remain patient, planning to attack this price sometime this week at its lowest point.

Total for this fight: 2.5 Over -260

Good luck with the fights and Thank You for reading.

--updated 3-13-21 7:36 am PT—

Edwards -2650 vs. Muhammad +210

Edwards has the physical attributes, experience and well-rounded fight arsenal to dominate any welterweight in the division. Muhammad has a class wrestling base, above average striking supported by unrelenting forward pressure and confidence.

The one major variable in this fight for both fighters is time.

Edwards needs to get his feet under him after twenty months away against an incoming scud missel. Muhammad meanwhile returns to the octagon after enduring a physically taxing bout just a month ago. By today he’s endured his second weight cut in a month while having to restore battered legs from that February 13th affair with Dhiego Lima. His road work and overall cardio as I handicap this fight must be somewhat affected.

Fight does not go the distance +150

Ige -150 vs. Tucker +130

It’s my belief that there is a class difference in this bout. Tucker’s recency over the last three fights is offering a bias that favors Ige.  I handicap Ige to be at least a -185-type chalk in this face-off based on reach, age and experience.

Ige -130

Don’t pay more than -150/-160 so act accordingly.

de Paula -195 vs. Frey +165

Frey, a wrestling-based fighter has the drive of needing to win a fight as she is 0-2 in the UFC against subpar competition. She faces a debuting athlete who’s making her debut but is more than well prepared for this fight emotionally as her significant other is a fighter in the UFC already. De Paula will be the taller, longer, younger athlete in the octagon who brings a Muay Thai fighting style into this bout. If de Paula keeps this fight standing, she’ll have advantage over the somewhat undersized Frey.

De Paula via decision +120

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC 259: Blachowicz vs. Adesanya: Knock your Blachowicz off - 3/6/2021

Good Saturday fight Enthusiasts. This UFC 259 slate is as steep as any I remember working to be honest. I have more wagers than usual but I still maintain a heavy concern for outlay when wagering on these cards because there are some 44 +/- though the year and bankroll management is critical if our goal is to play each week and then tabulate profitability at the end of the year.

Those looking to ‘hit and run’ with today’s card or other’s is not taking as sound of an approach as those who dedicate themselves to the grind of the long haul. That’s just my two cents as well you all can trust that our single point of focus today is not fun but banking bottom line profit.

Now let’s get to work.

Today’s post contains my weekly ‘Insight the Octagon’ column followed by final releases with comments. As a note my final release always reflect the releases provided through the week on the various formats, I am fortunate enough to appear on. I do update pricing during the day but the final selections you’ll view below with rare exception (missing weight, fight cancelled etc.) are the one’s that I’ve discussed all week.

--Let’s Fight--

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--Posted 3-3-21 Point Spread Weekly—

UFC 259 sets up to be the most dynamic, complete, competitive and compelling fight card offered in the last decade or longer. Three five round Championship bouts will complete a fifteen-bout schedule. From start to finish UFC 259 presents expertly skilled top ranked mixed martial arts talent from ten various countries all vying to propel their career by competing at their best with the eyes of the MMA world upon them.

Here’s an early snapshot of a few of the bouts that capture my attention outside of the Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling +120 Bantamweight Championship referenced below. I’ll provide a handful of releases for this card as we near the end of the week.

Israel Adesanya -230 vs. Jan Blachowicz Champion +195 Light Heavyweight (205lbs.) main event

In this super fight Blachowicz, the current Light Heavyweight champion puts his title on the line against current Middleweight champion Adesanya. As I read Blachowicz expressions leading up to this bout I’m reminded of the Howard Cosell description of a foul Ali prior to one of his fight. Howard used the word ‘Truculent’ and that’s exactly how Blachowicz regards Middleweight Adesanya attempting to come up a weight class and take what’s his.

Thirty-eight-year-old Jan Blachowicz earned the Light Heavyweight title vacated by Jon Jones in UFC 253 when as a +200 underdog he finished Dom Reyes late in the second round. Few thought the power punching Pole would earn victory that night let alone finish Reyes.

Over his past ten fights Blachowicz has rattled off a 9-1 tally. What’s more important is that he has been underdog in all but one of those bouts. Blachowicz has been overlooked buy the betting market and I wonder if he’s being overlooked here.

Blachowicz is an accomplished striker with a black belt in BJJ. He’s a structured man for the division who has power in each limb and championship level experience. He’s won four straight bouts since his last loss at the hands of Thiago Santos and enters this championship defense, his first, with the attitude that he as a man, a fighter, an athlete, a competitor and now a champion is being disrespected.

It’s easy to understand that Blachowicz’s chip comes from the fact that he feels Adesanya is being propelled into ‘double champion’ opportunity at his potential expense. He regards his opponent as a natural middleweight only and is eager to introduce Adesanya to Light Heavyweight striking damage.

Blachowicz not only welcomes this challenge but he is yearning to compete with a man who he believes will be unable to withstand the brunt of the damage light heavyweight strikes over twenty-five minutes may take on less a structured opponent.

In Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya what we have is not a smaller opponent but in fact a larger one, one who’ll hold advantages in height, reach, quickness, speed, agility and natural defensive movement.

On these pages I’ve written about Conor McGregor and other fighters who possess fluid movement and savant-like expression in their fighting. Adesanya is a master in offensive fluidity and precision, defensive strike evasion, deft footwork and pound for pound may be considered the most talented fighter on the whole of the UFC roster.

‘Speed Kills’ to me seems the best way to categorize this bout as Adesanya will be the younger fighter by seven plus years as well he’ll be the taller man with a reach advantage. How Blachowicz handles Adesanya’s movement especially early is important.

Adesanya is coming off a title defense of his own and his opponent was the middleweight division’s version of the Blachowicz fight style in body type, forward pressure movement and power striking. So Adesanya seems well-prepared for this sized man stalking him.

Blachowicz throughout his career has only battled other light heavyweight fighters all of whom possess power and might but none have possessed the ability to present him with any form of challenge when it comes to speed, agility, fluid movement, precision striking/kicking and natural matrix-like defense and strike evasion.

The Blachowicz plan must be that of a patient lumberjack chopping down a tree. While Blachowicz does have the power to shut Adessanya’s lights out with one power shot, his best possible path to victory as I handicap this fight is to take a deliberate steady approach to leg kicks and body attack on Adesanya and over time wear the Middleweight down then when he is wounded, slowing and damaged attack and kill.

“Kill the body and the head dies” Angelo Dundee would advise and a steady body attack plus using his solid ground game to drag Adesanya down must be part of Blachowicz’ path to victory.

Adesanya on the other hand will look to maintain spacing and distance (yes in the smaller confines of the 25’ cage at the APEX center) and barrage the incoming Pole with strikes, kicks and elbows from every angle and plane. Adesanya’s matrix-like striking attack must employ stealth, speed and deception to be most destructive.

Adesanya opened -255 for this bout and seems to be presenting value on Adesanya. It’s my judgement that this line should be a bit tighter.

 Petr Yan -115 Champion vs. Aljamain Sterling -105 Bantamweight (135lbs.) Championship

Sterling +120 is a position I released in December, then when the fight was rescheduled for this date I came right back with Sterling once the underdog price broke a second time.

Champion Petr Yan is a Russian destroyer decorated as a Master of sport in Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, and he holds a blue belt in BJJ. Since his debut in the UFC in 2018 Yan’s won seven straight fights but, in all honesty, only one of those foes is deserving enough to have been even been matched against Sterling and that’s Jimmy Rivera who Sterling beat via one sided decision in February of 2019.

Yan’s really all about the striking game but that’s not to say that a champion out of Russia is not used to grappling and wrestling. Thus far in his UFC career he’s been matched against fighters who have been tailor made for his skills in my opinion.

Yan’s first three opponents in the UFC were not top twenty talents and of the last three fighters he’s competed against only the aforementioned Jimmy Rivera could be considered in his prime when Yan fought him. Forty-year-old Uriah Faber or a thirty-three-year-old Jose Aldo, Yan’s last two opponents do not match up in fighting ability to Sterling or his recent competition.

Sterling’s faced the divisions elite talent when they were at their fighting hiatus. He will enter this bout the larger man and he’ll hold arm/reach advantage in this fight which will allow him to partially offset the striking advantage that Yan will hold.

Yan’s resume lacks world class wrestling which is Sterling’s foundation. Sterling’s ability to work through Yan’s striking and engage in the dirty, grimy, unrelenting pursuit that is clasping onto opponents then manhandling them down to the mat for a mauling is the key to his success and Yan knows this is his area of greatest improvement.

As evidence for this I point to the fact that Yan switched camps from his usual Tiger Muay Thai location to train in Florida at ATT. At ATT Yan has access to sparring partners versed in grappling/wrestling. The reason this fight was postponed was according to Yan ‘vis issues’ but it’s my judgement that this was only a ruse to buy him time in order to get to Florida and address the systematic grind that is going to be put on him once the bell for round one rings.

Listening to Ray Longo who is Sterling’s coach and mentor on the Anik and Florian podcast reinforced these feelings as they are also shared by Longo himself as well as others inside the industry whose opinions I have come to trust.

Sterling’s been held back from his opportunity at the title and that’s built a focus/determination in him that I tangible while Yan has had a much more streamlined path to the title. Saturday night the two top Bantamweights in the world compete in a fight that will be razor close and tightly contested. I believe Sterling is in terrific position to earn a title.

Sterling +120

Makhachev -365 vs. Dober +300 Lightweight (155lbs.)

Makhachev has the hype and the price proves it. Targeted fight?

Racik -160 vs. Santos +135 Light Heavyweight (205lbs.)

After time away and healing two blown knees, Santos arrived to his last bout and put on the worst performance of his career. He was finished by Glover Teixeira. His opponent the 6’5” Racik cleaned up on Anthony Smith, a fighter whose best is now well behind him. Beware recency.

Kenney -125 vs. Cruz +105 Bantamweight (135lbs.)

Kenney will be dealt physical and emotional challenges in this bout. How he handles the adversity will decide if he can beat the beguiling Cruz who has but one way to win this fight and that is via points. Cruz will absolutely not wrestle Kenney and he will not finish him.

Song Yadong -145 vs. Kyler Phillips +125 Bantamweight (135lbs.)

Yadong from China is twenty-three and ranked fourteenth in the division. He’s won a couple of fights where he’s shown the ability to slow in the latter rounds and be challenged by opponents who can defend strikes then counter off the attack. Phillips is perhaps the most talented of a stable of Bantamweights that all compete as a team at the MMALab. He’s more complete a fighter than is Yadong as well he’ll have a two-inch reach advantage. 

Sean Brady -215 vs. Jake Matthews +180 Welterweight (170lbs.)

This fight will be one of the spectacular early prelim bouts. This early prelim slate is steeped with enough talent to be a main card of a ‘fight night’!

Matthews arrives the wrestling based, more experienced fighter but he’s not a fluid striker. Brady arrives from the streets of Philly and he is dangerous everywhere. Don’t blink…. Fire fight!

--updated 3-6-21 7:28am PT—

Adesanya -235 vs. Blachowicz +200

My comments above and all week stand firm. This is a closely contested bout.

Over 2.5 -145

Yan -130 vs. Sterling +110

This line’s been toggling from +100 to +110. My handicapping has me on Sterling +120 from week ago. Any +100 or better price is a go. This will be a great bout. Over 3.5? Not a bad idea either.

Sterling +120

Makhachev -460 vs. Dober +370

Outside of Jon Anik who expressed surprise over this line I stand alone in needing Makhachev to prove to me that he’s what everyone say’s he is. The droves of folk just listening to Khabib and taking his word for it that this kid is the new phenom is an old ruse. I’ve learned to make them prove it to me. I make Makhachev -195 in this bout so I’ll eat me some Drew

Dober +370 .5u

…but I’ll wait because the price will only continue to rise based on the tsunami of parlay players who’ll be using Makhachev as an automatic ‘W’.

Kenney -125 vs. Cruz +105

Dom has the experience, the IQ and the length/reach tactical ability to pick and peck his way to a decision. Kenney must not allow that to be executed.

Kenney -125

Yadong -165 vs. Phillips +150

Another closely matched, highly competitive bout featuring two young athletes on their way into the top ten. The winner of this fight’s path will be a more immediate on to that esteemed ranking.

Phillips +150

Last cuts:

Askarov -125 vs. Benavidez +110

Askarov’s missed wight can’t be the impression he wanted to make for himself, his team nor his fans yet he perseveres’ into a bout against a Flyweight that’s really only been bested by current champion Figueiredo. I leaned Joe B previous to the weigh-ins and I actually now like him in this position tonight. Remember fight fans, after his last loss they claimed that Joe didn’t want to go out like that. In a decision of any type I think it will be hard for Benavidez not to win.

Joe B +110 Brady -215 and Adesanya via Decision +230 all personnal wagers...

Last week on Gabriel Morency's show @Sportsgrid as well on ESPN's 'Behind the Bets' with Matthew Holt and hosted by Doug Kezirian Sean Brady -215 was released. I missed adding him to today's post as an official release. 

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC Vegas20 Rozenstruik vs. Gane: Long Gane - 2/27/2021

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to UFC Vegas 20 or whatever the hail they are calling it. Main event Rozenstruik vs. Gane appears to be a very defining event for the Heavy’s as the winner projects themselves into the top 5 heavyweights in the organization….at least the way I handicap it.

Undercard fights are rife with live underdogs based on what my research tells me sop I’ve refined those targets down to a select few for your consideration.

Last week was a terrific week but those following me only recently need to understand that the UFC calendar year offers some 44 +/- fight slates. It’s my ambition to attempt to profit a penny or more on each however my judgement on the handicapping take place in December so it is critical for all to remember what a grind this can be.

I’ll say with a degree of confidence that those that belly up and take each position on each card through the year will come out in December banking bottom line profit. I offer no such assurance to any choosing to snipe one card here or one card there.

My wagering success is based on a long-term approach (the whole of the calendar year) and last week’s slate while profitable represents only a slight percentage of what the final result will be. So, in summary, last week means jack squat and all focus has been and is on deriving profit for this fight slate.

Monday I’ll begin the process again so if you are interested in banking over the course of the year…. belly up and ride with me each and every week. I assure you that the results will speak for themselves.

So, this week’s article from Point Spread Weekly is below and following it are the updated wagers I have released through the week as well any additions based on this morning latest information/pricing.

--Let’s Fight--

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--Posted 2-24-21 Point Spread Weekly—

Saturday’s UFC Vegas 20 will present fight fans twelve competitive match-ups featuring a Light heavyweight co main event and a heavyweight main event.  In the main event two highly regarded prospects each young, strong, equip and focused will compete against one another to determine which combatant elevates themselves into the upper tier of a division that is mainly four men deep. 

While last week’s UFC production was lacking real PPV appeal it’s my opinion that this card offers match-us that are competitively matched with a few that in my judgement may be mispriced.

Last week Darrick Minner +165 dominated Charles Rosa via unanimous decision which padded ‘Insight the Octagon’ profitability on 2021 releases to 4-3 +1.75 units.

For the next several week’s there will be UFC fight cards to dissect so the time is now to increase our bankroll by any positive increment and prepare for future opportunity.

*Aljamain Sterling was released on these pages’ weeks ago. When I find a future fight offering price advantage that I feel may evaporate over time I’ll jump the match-up and post positions here just as I have with Sterling. For new readers Sterling +120 is an official release.

Cyril Gane -260 vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik +220 Heavyweight (265lbs.) main event

Seventh ranked French prospect Cyril Gane arrives to this main event with superior physique, profuse striking power and substantial (and appropriate) hype. His background lies in Muay Thai striking where he did have seven competitions prior to the start his MMA career. Gane has displayed little wrestling in his past bouts mostly because he’s owned superior striking ability over his opponents. I expect that could change in this fight.

Both of these men are gifted Muay Thai, kickboxing talents. Though we’ve not seen him grapple prior, I believe it possible Gane displays some clinching/grappling/wrestling against Rozenstuik as he’s the more well-rounded fighter and Rozenstruik can barely spell wrestling let alone execute its basic functions.

Gane, in his four UFC fights has evolved in each outing. He’s beaten sturdy durable heavyweights in Raphael Pessoa and Junior Dos Santos as well he decisioned another promising heavyweight prospect Tanner Boser in a fight where both men impressed.

What remains to be discovered about Gane is how well he fares on the mat, how he may handle the pressure of being in a main event type spotlight and finally how he handles a most dangerous explosive power striker much like himself in Rozenstruik. Gane’s been a full three rounds only once in his short but impressive professional career.

One thing to note is that outside of his bout with Boser, Gane’s not really received striking damage so it will be interesting to see if his opponent can land leg/arm strikes to test the monster’s mettle.

Rozenstruik arrives the third ranked heavyweight on the roster. He’ll be the slightly smaller man with less reach than Gane.  What Rozenstruik may lack in physical stature/attributes he makes up for in fight experience. Rozenstruik compiled a 76 win (64 KO/TKO's), 8 losses, 1 draw record over eight years prior to arriving in to the UFC. He’s clearly the more seasoned experience striker in this bout.

Since becoming a professional mixed martial artist Rozenstruik’s fought impressively and beaten heavyweight foes that are far superior in fighting skills than anyone Gane has faced to this point. While many of Rozenstruik’s bouts have been under three rounds in duration it’s important to understand that he does have main event experience.

In his fight against Alistair Overeem, he was able to survive being ‘pieced up’ for most of the fight by Overeem only to draw deep inside and KO the grizzled veteran with four second remaining in the fifth round.

Besides experience Rozenstruik will have advantages in speed, quickness and explosion while Gane’s strengths revolve around aggressively stalking opponents and engaging in power fighting. Gane has had great success thus far by walking opponents down and clubbing them into unconsciousness.

Gane opened -300 for this bout which seems a bit expensive when scrutinizing his body of work, opponents faced and most importantly the capability of this opponent Rozenstruik. So, I must agree with the slight move in money to Rozenstruik.

Will Gane choose to fight the more experienced, refined striking Rozenstruik on the feet which is both men’s forte’ or will he choose by need or necessity to take this fight to the floor where I believe Rozenstruik is at his most vulnerable?

This I believe is the key to the fight for as this bout wears on it’s Rozenstruik whom I believe will hold advantage as Gane is a muscular specimen and could easily tire both physically and mentally as this battle rages on.

Total for this fight: 1.5 Over -190

Pass pending weigh-ins

Ronnie Lawrence -165 vs. Vince Cachero +145 Bantamweight (135lbs)

Last week we uncovered a live underdog with Derrick Minner’s outstanding unanimous decision performance. This week I hope to offer another ‘mangy mutt’ who for several reasons will arrive to the octagon Saturday night with focus, determination, preparedness and price advantage.

Ronnie Lawrence makes his UFC debut in this bout. He’s recently aligned with Sanford MMA in Florida which clearly displays the seriousness of his intentions.

In this bout height, reach and age all favor Lawrence but a closer look into his past fights forces me to believe that he’s become more prepared for this fight by switching camps than by the experience of his past bouts as his body of competition is uninspiring.

Across the octagon from Lawrence will stand Vince Cachero who lost his UFC debut to Jamaal Emmers in a completely one-sided affair. Emmers who fought last week is a physical monster who competes in the Featherweight division. Cachero, a true Bantamweight took the bout on two days’ notice and up a weight class in order to gain access into the UFC.

What we learned from Cachero’s performance is that he is fearless, a gifted fighter and as tough as a three-dollar steak.  This fight offers Cachero the opportunity for a full training camp against an opponent in his weight class who has not competed against the likes of fighter Cachero has.

Cachero’s recently made the move to Factory X which is a camp similar to Sanford in that the fighters there are talented and superbly trained. These two men have taken matters into their own hands in order to arrive in the octagon and perform at their absolute best.

Cachero, though the shorter man giving away 2” of reach has faced a far superior level of competition. He’s earned this opportunity by showing the UFC that he’s ready, willing and able to step in the octagon at any time for them. Further, he draws a debuting athlete who is nowhere near the talent that Cachero just faced in Emmers.

Lawrence opened -180 in this bout and I believe that may be more based on the beatdown Cachero took against Emmers than anything Lawrence has earned in order to be called the favorite.

A light stream of play has knocked Cachero’s price down from +160 at openers to the current +145 which is enough for me to move immediately.

Cachero +145

Total for this fight is: 2.5 over -190

Alex Caceres -220 vs. Kevin Croom +190 Featherweight (145lbs.)

Both of these men are gifted fighters, both are also quite experienced in fact Croom actually has more professional fights than does Caceres which is unusual for Caceres has been in the UFC since 2011 competing in twenty-four bouts.

Caceres recently moved to Florida and his results since that move have been impressive. Caceres is a long fighter who uses fluid movement and evasive tactics to frustrate opponents which sets up his outstanding counter striking. If there’s on critique of Caceres is that he’s now thirty-two and is not as flashy, quick and reflexive as he was when he was younger.

Caceres’ relies on athleticism and natural movement to serve as his primary source of defense. Unfortunately for him and all fighters with a decade of experience behind them, those traits have waned and they have not been replaced by any form of structural, tight defense.

Croom is an experienced junk yard dog who looked impressive in submitting Roosevelt Roberts in his last bout. Croom does not possess the movement or counterstriking abilities of his opponent has but he’s gritty, dirty and wants to fight in close quarters then eventually force the fight to the floor where his skills are most evident.

This clash of styles will be fascinating to witness for if Croom is unable to work on the inside against Caceres he’ll get sliced and diced. That said, if this fight gets ugly and is fought in close quarters and gets to the ground it will be Croom who will hold advantage.

Lean Croom

There’s been little movement in this price so I’ll hold off on any release until post weigh-ins.

Enjoy the fights and Thank You for reading.

--Updated 2/27/21 8:24am PT—

Gane -250 vs. Rozenstruik +210

The reason I hesitate to make any real opinion on this fight is based on limited data on Gane. It’s my opinion that Rozenstruik, while well-more experienced is in position to succeed provided he gets help from Gane in the form of a low IQ approach which means that if Gane chooses to stand and kickbox with Rosenstruik at Rozenstruik’s forte’ he plays one dangerous game.

Gane receives great accolades if he did dominate Rozenstruik at his own game but risky decision making does not a contender make. It’s my belief that Gane takes Rozenstruik to the floor early in this bout then mops the octagon canvas with him.  

If we continue to witness compression on Gane’s price (he opened -300) there’s a possibility I could jump in but for right now this fight is a Due Diligence bout which means I plan on watching, learning and using this fight data for future reference on each combatant.

Rivera -145 vs. Munhoz +125

Rematch. Rivera won the first bout.  

In UFC rematches (since UFC 28), The fighter who won the first bout is 65-40 with 2 draws and 1 No Contest in the second bout*.

I handicap this fight as a dead pick-em. Based on each man’s present state it is Munhoz whom I regard as the well hungrier fighter, the fighter with the sturdier chin as well the fighter with more power. These cats are going to throw down and as I handicap this bout that favors Munhoz despite his willingness to take one in order to give one.

Munhoz +125

Bueno Silva -135 vs. De La Rosa +115

This is a foundational fight for De La Rosa’s future in the UFC. Montana must manipulate space and use her length/size to keep the pressing Brazilian grappler on the outside where De La Rosa can pepper Bueno Silva with combinations and make her pay for trying to gain access inside the pocket. Released earlier this week +125.

De La Rosa +115

Caceres -185 vs. Croom +165

Speaking of space inside the octagon, this fight is all about space for if Caceres can keep the aggressive ‘hard hitting hillbilly’ on the outside he’ll accumulate points while frustrating the grappler.

Once clasping/grappling/wrestling-based fighters find difficulty gaining the inside their tendency is often to get reckless in attempting to force their way there which plays directly into Caceres strength.

In this instance I feel that Croom’s size and his unrelenting aggression prepare him for success here as Croom’s striking is more than developed than is Caceres ground ability (my opinion). I also regard Caceres as a worthy underdog in almost any spot but he’s a heavy, heavy chalk.

Last note: Croom has a previous win over Darrick Minner who won a fight for us last week priced +165. They now train together with other notable fighters at Glory MMA which is a gym finally gaining recognition. Croom’s a little crazy which suits me just fine.

Croom +165

Lawrence -165 vs. Cachero +145

Little to add to what is outlined above. In a tight, close, competitive fight I like

Cachero +145

Hill -340 vs. Yoder +310

Rematch. Hill won the first bout.

Of all the fights on this card this is the one that stands out to me as being the most obtusely mispriced.

Hill’s the stronger fighter, the more aggressive fighter but also the much slighter fighter physically. I feel Yoder’s size, her hunger and her grappling acumen will provide her every opportunity to make this a very tight contest. Hill’s earned the right to be the chalk in this bout but I just can’t see her priced higher than -175 or so. Leaving fights to the judges can be risky business and that’s exactly what I am counting on here.

Yoder +310 .5u

 

* @NumbersMMA via Twitter

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC Blaydes vs. Lewis: Sling Blaydes - 2/20/2021

This week’s UFC fight card offers some great fights. Below I’ll post the column published earlier this week on VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ magazine. I’ll list the final releases just after that post.

--Let’s Fight--

All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business.

--Posted 2-17-21 Point Spread Weekly--

There have been five fight cards in 2021. Favorites are running 30-13-2 or 66.5% thus far. Over the course of the last several years favorites have won about 64% in the UFC.

2021 Insight the Octagon profitability stands 4-4 showing a .10-unit profit.

Last week we took a loss with Maycee Barber +115, she was one of two losses sustained in an overall set of wagers released here on VSiN programming that realized a 4-2 +3.35-unit profit.

Insight the Octagon columns are published early in the week and developments in today’s covid world can force immediate change so my handicapping of each week’s fight card gets more focused, precise and refined as the week transpires.

Taking in fighter interviews which occur mid-week and weigh-ins which occur some 30 +/- hours prior to the fight card are foundational aspects of gaining advantage in the UFC besides just fighter data and match-up projections.

While I always try to release a sound wager on these pages each week the fact is that on occasion there may not be an available release until the later part of the week. For that reason, I do share final releases with the VSiN editors later Friday for their publication on Saturdays. FYI

This week UFC Vegas 19 features a whopping fifteen fights. Most of the athletes are from the states with a few shipping in to advance their career. If readers thought last week’s slate was rife with obscure combatants then you’re in for another treat as this card has athlete’s appearing that even the most hardcore fight enthusiasts have to do film study on!

Curtis Blaydes -350 vs. Derrick Lewis +280 Heavyweight (265lbs.) Main Event

Blaydes is the second ranked Heavyweight fighter in current rankings and Lewis the fourth ranked. That stated, my judgement on the Heavyweight division is that it consists of four fighters comprising the absolute pinnacle of the division. They are: current champion Stipe Miocic, Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes and the new entry that is Jon Jones.

After these four fighters there are several capable, competent heavyweight fighters all attempting to vie with those four elite talents. Up and coming combatants into the division are fighters like Cyril Gane, Tanner Boser and Jair Rozenstruik. Each of these has the opportunity to overtake the droves of heavyweight gatekeepers in order to compete effectively with the four elite talents in the division.

Derrick Lewis possesses tremendous natural power and incredible ‘Country’ strength for a man his size. He’s explosive/destructive for up to six or seven minutes in any bout but after that he seems limited to launching telegraphed ‘Sunday shots’ to try to topple opponents with one big bang.

Lewis has struggled to make the 265lb. weight limit in past fights and has mentioned the need to arrive for future fights in improved condition. Weigh-ins Friday become very important for this fight as it’s time for Lewis to prove he has indeed put down the fork and picked up some improved training habits which should manifest itself in Lewis weighing in less than 260lbs.

Blaydes is the taller fighter Saturday in the closed confines of the 25’ Octagon, he’s also the younger man by seven years who arrives with a world class wrestling foundation, power in his hands, improved striking and the ability to fight five full rounds without issue.

This fight is priced accurately in my judgement. The one-way Lewis has to win this fight is to blister Blaydes on the beak and his best opportunity for that comes early in the fight.

If Lewis is unable to knock out Blaydes then this will be up to a twenty-five-minute domination with Blaydes riding on top of Lewis and dropping destructive ground and pound until Lewis succumbs. I can’t feel Lewis lasts all five rounds in this bout.

Blaydes opened -320 for this bout

Total for this fight: 1.5 Over -175

Blaydes ITD is -180 which is where I would land if forced to make a position on this bout today….pass for now.

Charles Rosa -190 vs. Darrick Minner +165 Featherweight (145lbs.)

This fight features two frizzled veterans.

Rosa has battled injury as well as inconsistent results in the organization and Minner is a fighter who toiled eight years spanning thirty-four professional bouts before he got his debut opportunity in the UFC.

Rosa is the taller, larger athlete but he’s also the older athlete with perhaps less agility and footspeed than his opponent. While Rosa sports an experience advantage, he’s coming off a highly emotional win where his greatest weapon was the desperation he carried into the bout.

Knowing his career was on the line was hugely motivating for Rosa but I wonder how a fighter of this caliber ‘gets up’ for this bout after one so emotionally important to him.

Darrick Minner’s last fight was his first UFC win in two tries. His two UFC foes surpass in fighting acumen and ability the last several opponents Rosa has faced. Minner himself carries a substantial chip on his shoulder entering this his third UFC bout as he believes at thirty years old that his time in NOW despite the fact it took him so long to earn his way here. 

Minner’s speed, athleticism and focus to display the ability he’s accrued over a lifetime force me to regard this fight more as a pick-em than Rosa being a favorite. In a very close ultra-competitive bout, I’ll take a look at the ‘mangy mutt’….

Minner +165 pending weigh-ins

Total for this fight: 2.5 Under -180

Enjoy the fights and Thank You for reading

--Updated 2-20-21 6:30am PT--

Blaydes -450 vs. Lewis +360

The plan with this main event is to have earned prior to the fight dropping as the wager I will make on this fight is a longshot to say the least.

While I see Blaydes dominating the action, let’s not forget that this is a heavyweight battle in a small cage. Blaydes’ only two professional setbacks have been via KO. For this reason, rather than biting off a large mouthful of chalk I’ll choose to just toss .30 of a unit into the possibility that Lewis does in fact catch Blaydes sometime during the fight.

Derrick Lewis ITD +450  .30u

Daukaus -200 vs. Oleynik +170

Heavyweight fighter Oleynik 59-14-1 is always the smaller, older man in the cage when he competes. In this fight he’ll tussle with a fighter who’s a smaller man than he, who’s had just thirteen professional bouts and enters with a singularly dimensioned fight arsenal.

Daukaus’ approach is simple; stalk the old man down then drop elbows, fists and shins to his chin in order to turn out his lights.  Daukaus will have youth, speed and power advantages in this fight and he must utilize them from standing position. That said this is not Oleynik’s first rodeo and the fact remains that he’s beguiling, cagey and quite unorthodox when standing.

Olenik’s biggest issue is his inability to take a solid strike for his chin is less durable than a paper mâché pinata. Because of this be aware that there is risk in betting the Russian grappler. That stated, Oleynik has vast advantages in experience and quality of fighters faced.

Oleynik though forty-three years old is master of sport in combat Sambo, Jujutsu and he holds a black belt in BJJ. He must not be underestimated.

Once Oleynik tackles/trips/drags Daukaus to the dirt this fight will be one dimensional in favor of the experienced, cagey warrior.

Oleinik +170  

Rosa -200 vs. Minner +170

Rosa is a solid grappler with decent striking skill but he’s battled injury and inconsistency throughout his career. Minner will be the faster, quicker athlete in the cage but he’ll need to remain measured against Rosa for Minner can be wild and crazy inside the cage.

Be careful not to form too stringent an opinion on MInner based on his last couple of bouts as both of those UFC opportunities were on short notice and he had but 1-2 weeks’ notice for those bouts. This is a key factor in this battle.

For this bout Minner’s had a full camp and that spells trouble for Rosa.

Minner +170

Castaneda -120 vs. Wineland +100

We’re going with speed, power and youth in this bout.

Castaneda will be giving away an inch or so of height advantage but he’s the younger man, the quicker fighter and possesses power in every appendage. Castaneda enters this bout off a debut loss to Nathaniel Wood last fall which is important for Wood is quite talented and Castaneda, like any other 0-1 UFC fighter is keenly focused on attaining that first ‘W’.

Wineland balances a full-time career as a fire fighter with his octagon exploits and while he’s gritty, experienced and game, he’s also thirty-six years old and surely on the back side of his fighting career. Castaneda actually opened the underdog in this one.

Uncovering 0-1 UFC fighters preparing for their second bout is a sure way to ensure that you’ll get every bit of focus, energy and preparedness out of that fighter.

Castaneda -120

Parlay Playing Puke?

Let’s use: Tom Aspinal -240 with Drako Rodriguez -170 (released yesterday on VSiN’s ‘Rush Hour’) 2 fighter parlay which returns +1.25u

*pricing on this parlay has changed slightly since its release as Aspinal is now -270.

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC 258 Usman vs. Burns: Welter Skelter - 2/13/2021

UFC 258 is upon us. Usman vs. Burns is a fight I am really looking forward to. While the other bouts on the card may not present widely recognized names I’ll remind readers that we don’t handicap the names here, we handicap each fighter active in the UFC and their abilities. Therefore, I do like some positions on this slate.

Below is the Wednesday Insight the Octagon’ article I do weekly for VSiN. After that are my final UFC 258 releases, post weigh-ins yesterday.

*Weigh-ins are so highly important (see Bobby Green vs. Clay Guida) which is why I provide day of the event final releases to supplement any positions offered earlier in the week.

Things can and often do change in a matter of hours so always be sure to verify my final releases here each morning of any UFC event.

--originally published 2-10-21 Point Spread Weekly--

This week’s UFC 258 from Las Vegas will not be nearly as international in flavor as last week’s event but it does feature several competitive match-ups with a main event that in every way is compelling. We’re again in the smaller sized cage this week which may not have as much impact as the card is rife with smaller weight classes competing.

Last week we had nice wins on Dariush+110 and Choi +210 but lost a unit on Kape who throughout his performance looked ill prepared to compete at this level yet. That was a poor performance by Kape, he’ll have to improve exponentially if he aspires to compete with elite Flyweights.

2012 profitability: 4-3 +1.1 unit

Champion Kamaru Usman -280 vs. Gilbert Burns +230 Welterweight (170lbs.) Championship

Welterweight is a most underrated division in the UFC. It’s championed by Kamaru Usman who is a cerebral, focused, intense, athletic, wrestling based fighter who does his speaking inside the octagon as opposed to using his yapper.

Usman dominated Tyron Woodley to earn the belt then defended it in two dominant performances against Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal. Usman like most wrestlers applies unrelenting forward pressure on opponents, his unending cardio allows him to execute that simple plan for twenty-five inflicting minutes.

Pressing top ten welterweights backwards and forcing them to fend off his aggression for five full rounds usurps Usman’s adversaries of their willingness to compete. Further, his striking under the tutelage of both Henri Hooft and now Trevor Whitman is much improved.

Usman is the taller man, the younger man and will have a six-inch reach advantage over Burns in this bout. Usman’s striking while improving has always been a forceful tool for him as experienced by the fact that in all twelve of his UFC bouts he’s out struck each opponent…something only one other fighter, Demetrius Johnson a flyweight has been able to accomplish in the UFC.

Gilbert Burns, the number two ranked Welterweight has helped Usman become the champion and remain the champion up until the time this bout was announced almost a year ago.

For years these two trained together and cornered each other in bouts against similar opponents. To say they know one another well is an understatement, in fact their families have shared time together.

Burns has had aspirations to become a UFC champion since he was a young man. He’s as gifted a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu artist as there is living today and he packs abundant power in his strikes though his reach is unusually short. Burns is explosive and powerful on the feet and as comfortable and dangerous rolling on the floor as any man alive.

When presented with the opportunity to test his BJJ skills against the Champ’s wrestling abilities in a title bout Burns immediately accepted.

Interestingly it was Usman who left their gym, Sanford MMA and traveled to Denver to train with the scads of dynamic professional mixed martial artists at Team Elevation. While I believe this move out of Sanford (permanent or not) had to be difficult for Usman, in the long run I believe it will substantiate itself as one of the best things that could have happened to him for team Elevation has an abundance of world class athlete’s training there.

That these men are acquaintances matters not in the world of championship mixed martial arts. If anything, the fact that they know each other from fighting style to social life adds intrigue to this match-up.

As I have been taught, world class wrestlers are kryptonite to world class BJJ artists.

Jiu-Jitsu’s advantage lies in using aggression against the attacker. Fighters able to apply unrelenting forward pressure, who possesses world class ground skill especially from a dominant top control position and are able to supplement that pressure wrestling with unending cardio will in time hold advantage over the BJJ savant.

The BJJ practitioner must find ways to lure incoming wrestling-based fighters into mistakes with aptitude, guile, skill and/or luck.

In Saturday’s case Burns who has devastating power coupled with abundance of BJJ skills may attempt to pressure the wrestler. Burn’s will be most dangerous early but as the fight wears on it will be Usman that takes over.

Usman’s physical disadvantages, his experience in five round fights and his tremendous pressure wrestling force me to regard him as a solid favorite in this bout.

Usman opened -245

Total for this fight: 4.5 rounds Over -135

I have no release on this fight at this time.

Alexa Grasso -135 vs. Maycee Barber +115 Women’s Flyweight (125lbs.) co main event

Grasso has but one fight at this weight as she moved up prior to her last fight.

She enters ranked fifteenth in the division and is a tough, diligent fighter which can be said of every professional fighter of Mexican descent. It’s my belief that Grasso has been selected for this opportunity because she’ll acquiesce the UFC and the fans by engaging with her opponent who happens to be a legitimately sized female Flyweight fighter in stature and ability.

Barber, twenty-two is only 8-1 as a professional fighter. She’s coming in to this fight off an upset loss as well a knee procedure which has kept her sidelined since that loss a year ago January. It’s my estimation that the fight acumen Barber possesses is substantially more lethal and well rounded than that of her opponent.

Barbers athleticism, her weaponry coupled with the time she’s been forced to take off and reassess after a loss she was obtusely favored in all spell ‘bounce’ here to me. Further, I believe there’s a reason the UFC set this bout as co main event. They have designs on Barber as ‘the future’ just as her nickname suggests.

Barber opened + 110 and she’s a release at any underdog price. Don’t fear being patient in order to get the best price on Barber.

Barber +115 

Kelvin Gastelum -210 vs. Ian Heinisch +180 Middleweight (185lbs.)

How the mighty have fallen.

Current ninth ranked Middleweight Gastelum was a round away from winning the interim welterweight title three fights back but lost a tight decision to current champion Israel Adesanya. Since then, Gastelum has fought a couple of bouts where he was favored to win but lost and looked uninspired, unfocused and lethargic.

At his best Gastelum though undersized uses speed, quickness, pressure wrestling and power striking to best opponents. Gastelum is undersized for the division and his past couple of performances have me viewing him as being a pretty dubious favorite.

Ian Heinisch, the division’s fifteenth ranked fighter enters at a crossroads in his career. A wrestler back in high school and college for a short time Heinisch’s route to the UFC was paved in misery, learning the hard way and regret yet he has overcome steep obstacles to capture this opportunity.

Heinisch will be the taller, larger fighter with leg and arm reach in this bout. What he must overcome are his opponent’s advantages in experience and wrestling and striking. Heinisch enters this fight knowing a win will project him up the ranks of the division but make no mistake that he steps well up in class for this fight.

Gastelum enters a desperate fighter having lost three in a row albeit to fighters considered well more skilled than Heinisch. If he fights like the man who was in the octagon against Adesanya then he’ll have great results in this bout but if he shows the same lack of focus as in his last couple of outings, he’ll get bested.

With Gastelum this fight is all mental. Will he be able to force the striking on a fighter in Heinisch he’ll hold advantage over on the feet or will he succumb to allowing Heinisch inside and force a groping wrestling style of fight?

Pass

--updated 2-13-21 7am PT—

Usman -260 vs. Burns +215 Main Event

My releases make it clear how I view this bout:

Usman vs. Burns Does NOT go to decision +125 1u

Usman ITD +260 .5u

For those who do not have access to ‘Inside the Distance’ (ITD) you may consider:

Usman wins Rd. 4 +1200 .25; Usman wins Rd. 5 +1800 .25

Grasso -125 vs. Barber +105 co main event

Do not underestimate Grasso’s prowess in boxing for it’s on the feet where this match will be most competitive. Barber must use pressure to back the striker from Mexico up then make this a dirty grimy maul in the mud. I see a tight decision perhaps but the organization wants Barber to shine…..

Barber +115

As released Wednesday.

Martin -130 vs. Viana +115

Martin is hyped but inexperienced and has not been in the cage with UFC caliber opponents until tonight. Viana has size and reach as well a depth of experience over Martin.

Viana +135

Released yesterday on VSiN ‘Follow the Money’ and ‘Rush Hour’.

Marquez-160 vs. Pitolo +140

I favor Marquez’s size, his situation coming in off an injury/ layoff as well his camp to prepare him for a fighter in Pitolo that has absolute knockout power in each hand but is a bit undersized and too willing to exchange at Middleweight. Marquez is fresh and ready to fire in this spot. He opened -185.

Marquez -160

Simon -250 vs. Kelleher +220

People may be mistaking Simon’s abilities to Satmman’s which may be a mistake. Stamman, who just beat Kelleher is a more patient calculating fighter than Simon who can be wild, unpredictable and reckless inside the cage. Kelleher’s of similar size to Simon and knows the takedown pressure game is coming. Let’s see if he can catch Ricky forcing his way inside.

Kelleher +220 (half)